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14th July, 3pm
Nina Kiva (cello) & Milo Harper (harp)
The Friends' Recital Hall, Queen Elizabeth's School, EN5 4DQ

Luigi Boccherini: Sonata in A Major, G. 4

Clara Schumann: Liebst du um Schönheit; Warum willst du and're fragen

Claude Debussy: Claire de Lune, L. 75

Francis Poulenc: Souvenirs

Camille Saint-Saëns: Le Cygne

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Song of the Black Swan

Witold Lutosławski: Sacher Variation

Paul Hindemith: Sonata for Harp

Lili Boulanger: Nocturne


Claude Debussy: Cello Sonata, L. 135

Milo Harper_Harp_Credit; Milla Lewis.jpg
Nina Kiva.jpeg

get to know Nina...

How do you find playing with a harpist? It’s a relatively unusual combination so are there particular advantages or difficulties that come with this duo?


I love playing with the harp. There’s such a unique sound world that is immediately created as soon as the two instruments are combined. In a sonata setting, the piano has a more direct “hit” of a sound, but the natural sound of the harp is a lot more gentle. This sound world allows room for experimenting with new colours and timbres, which may not be possible with the piano.

Tell us a bit about the programme you’ll be performing at the Festival. Why are you playing these works?


We put this programme together because each piece is able to show a different characteristic of the instruments, either together or individually. For example, the Sacher Variation by Witold Lutosławski is a solo piece for cello which has to be played precisely as to is what’s instructed in the score, for example the use of quarter tones and the rhythms being extremely exact. Contrasting to this we have the Debussy Sonata, which leaves more space for individual artistic interpretation. By this I mean Impressionistic colours, such as flautando and cadenza-like passages. The Boccherini Sonata isn’t usually played with the harp, but we wanted to add it into the programme as a classical sonata fits perfectly amongst the other more romantic pieces.

The Debussy Sonata is a giant of the cello repertoire. What’s it like taking on a piece with such a reputation, and especially in this new context?


As I mentioned previously, it’s a whole new experience playing it with the harp due to the new sound worlds that can be created. This is always interesting, particularly with a piece that I’ve been playing since I was at school. With any piece of music, the process of discovery always feels endless. When you rearrange it for a different instrument, it sort of feels like you have to learn it all over again. It feels very exciting and I really enjoy it, of course especially as I’m performing it with Milo!

If our audience wanted to listen to some other music related to your programme, what would you recommend?


I’d recommend some works by Lutosławski, as I feel he is not as well known as the others! As the Sacher Variation is quite a unique piece, and can be difficult to understand, it always helps to listen to more of the composer's works to help almost get to know him. His Cello Concerto and Concerto for Orchestra are my favourite works by him.

And finally, if you were a pasta sauce, what would you be and why?


You can never go wrong with a tomato sauce!

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